What's wrong with preaching to ourselves? I see where many are decrying the fact that we are preaching to ourselves…well…what's wrong with that? There are as many, if not more, commands to do just that than there are to preach to the unconverted. Starting with the life of Jesus in the book of Matthew to the last word in the book of Revelation, there is command after command and example after example to teach the faithful.
Paul, in admonishing those at Corinth wrote (1 Cor. 14:26) "How is it then brethren? When ye come together, everyone of you hath a Psalm…doctrine…tongue…revelation…interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying." Edifying who? Why, the saints that have come together to learn more of God's ways, of course.
Again, (1 Cor. 3:6) "Apollos watered" watered what? Apollos taught those that Paul had converted as well as those that were not saved. Paul told Timothy to remain in Ephesus to teach (1 Tim. 1:3) "…that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine." Titus was left in Crete "…to set in order things that are wanting." (Titus 1:5). The things "that are wanting" was not just the ordaining of elders for Paul goes on to say: "…and ordain elders in every city." Read Chapter Two for the instructions to be delivered to the Christians in Crete. Titus 3:8 continues, "…and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works."
I think maybe Peter sums it up best in 2 Peter 1:12-15 "Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance. Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance."
This is not to say that we are doing all we should to reach the lost. We all know that most Christians seldom, if ever, make any attempt to teach the lost, but does this not point out the need of teaching ourselves and does it not also show us what needs to be taught? I'm afraid we have fought "the issues" so hard (and rightly so) that we haven't spent the necessary time teaching ourselves.
Let me repeat, yes, we need to reach the lost. We need to take the gospel of Christ to the whole world, but, we will never do it until we get back to teaching ourselves that we, all of us, must teach others, we are going to lose more than we can convert.
Try this, have a meeting where the hard cold facts of "fruit bearing" is preached, with love, to the saints. About two months later have a meeting to teach the lost. The results will amaze you. Saints want to go to heaven, but we must teach ourselves constantly if we are to make it.
12 Gilbert Circle, Pensacola, Florida